By Daniel Giamario
“It’s Tough to Make Predictions, Especially about the Future” – Yogi Berra, baseball playing philosopher
“Prediction is Very Difficult, Especially about the Future” – Niels Bohr, Danish Physicist
The assumption is often made that astrology is a predictive science. Many still cling to that notion. But it had seemed in the late 1960’s, and early 1970’s, that the era of predictive astrology was over. In these times now, within the time-frame of a great Turning of the Ages, prediction is a dubious and often perilous enterprise.
It often seems that simply making a prediction, and placing attention on something, be-it positive, or negative, could even be seen as a strategy to insure that it does not happen! This may well be related to a principle of quantum mechanics, where the consciousness of the observer connects mysteriously to the outcome. The Shamanic Astrology Mystery School™ has never been about prediction. Let me explain.
I first became aware of astrology through the books of Dane Rudhyar (1969 through 1973), and was part of a movement that, at that time, was known as Humanistic Astrology. Later, Rudhyar changed the name of his approach to “Transpersonal Astrology”. I had the great fortune of having Dane and his wife Leyla Rael as early mentors. It was the era of an astrological renaissance, with many, many young people taking a keen interest in astrology. This was actually a part of the overall cultural revolution that gripped the world in the late 1960s.
Interestingly, the excitement and interest that astrology held for us had little connection with a predictive or deterministic kind of astrology. Rudhyar, and the others who inspired us in those days (including Zipporah Dobyns, Stephen Arroyo, Tony Joseph, Richard Idemon, and many others) favored an approach blending mythology, psychology, and spirituality. Before I even began using the expression “Shamanic Astrology” (starting in the early 1990s), I had always steered clear of predictive astrology.
Highly influenced by Rudhyar, I have always felt that astrology is about “intent” (see note below) with the capacity of the astrologer and the client to tune into, as best they can, the intent and purpose of a natal chart or any astrological timing. The chart, or any particular timing, is a set of potentials, likened also to a set of instructions, that can either be carried out, or not.
As Jung so beautifully stated: “Free will is doing gladly, and freely, that which one must do.” It’s the responsibility of the astrologer to illumine the highest set of possibilities and the full potential of the client. This will then assist in discerning the purpose and meaning of their lives, the higher purpose of a person, not the egoic desires of the client (or the needs of the astrologer to be right).
By focusing on intent, it stands the predictive approach on its head. Instead of looking for a fixed future outcome, by tuning into intent it’s easier to align with lines of probability that most likely will produce the intended outcome. I suggest that we look at the extraordinary global configurations and my recent explorations of the US chart from that perspective.
Two other experiences have galvanized my non-predictive approach. The first was my involvement with the Ridhwan School, also known as the Diamond Heart Approach. The One Reality that we are all part of is in motion and it evolves according to certain natural laws.
An expression of this is known as “The Holy Plan.” People who love astrology generally love getting close with this holy plan, and then end up believing that they have it all figured out. But the “problem” is that the astrologer is part of the evolving One Reality, and can never be separate and objective to it. Therefore it’s not really possible to know for certain what the holy plan is intending. That’s why it’s also known as Great Mystery!
In concert with these insights, I have also been quite impressed by the work of English astrologer Geoffrey Cornelius, the author of The Moment of Astrology. One point he makes is that there is no such thing as “objective time.” Without the existence of objective time, prediction as normally understood is simply not possible. Astrology is actually just an infinite number of divinations. And as many of us are experiencing, there are seemingly an infinite number of possible timelines, even if not really infinite, then certainly a rapidly expanding number of lines of probability.
These two sets of insights remove prediction, as it has been known, entirely off the table. There is no way of knowing completely, ahead of time, what is going to happen. Each birth chart, or each specific astrological timing, when seen as a divination, in and of itself, can be seen to have an intention, with its own meaning and purpose, which the astrologer can then form a relationship with, in concert with the client. From this, an awareness can develop concerning the intent, meaning, and purpose of the chart, or any specific timing or cycle.
Shamanic Astrology is completely in harmony with this view. As astrologers, and as lovers of astrology, of course, we love our closeness to the holy plan. We would not be in this field if we did not feel the intimacy derived from this closeness. However, the greater this closeness and this intimacy, the greater a humbleness and humility will grow, because it’s not possible to really know what Great Mystery has in mind. We can only get close. And that is a thrill indeed.
Much has changed since that halcyon late 1960s and early 1970s. Much to my shock and disappointment, a good deal of mainstream astrology has regressed in my view. So much astrology has gone back into Medieval, Hellenistic, and often deterministic Vedic systems, not to speak of “Sun Sign Astrology”. Dane Rudhyar would be rolling over in his grave!
Many of the gains from the astrological renaissance of the 1960s and 1970s have been seemingly lost, stranded on the shores of determinism and prediction. I suspect it’s time for another Renaissance. Certainly there are other astrologers who are part of this Re-Renaissance. To name a few, there are: Mark Jones, Gemini Brett, Dale O’Brien and Eric Francis. The Shamanic Astrology Mystery School will always stand firmly on its Rudhyarian, humanistic, divinatory and non-predictive foundation.
Note: Regarding the word “intent”. It stems from Old French and Late Latin: Intentus; meaning a “stretching out” and a “leaning toward”. It is actional, and includes concepts like goal, an end, aim and purpose.